Cycling Southland's Steph McKenzie has opened her campaign at the UCI Junior World Track Championships in Moscow with a bronze medal this morning (NZ time).
McKenzie teamed with Auckland's Paige Paterson to secure bronze in the ride-off for bronze in the team sprint.
It was the second medal for McKenzie who won silver in last year’s world championships in Italy when paired with Aucklander Henrietta Mitchell.
The junior men’s team pursuit combination followed suit with an outstanding bronze medal ride.
Riding third to last off, the quartet of Scott Creighton (Hamilton), Alex Frame (Christchurch), Fraser Gough (Havelock North) and Dylan Kennett (Waimate) recorded 4:09 in their qualifying ride, to be pipped by half a second by the hosts Russia who went into the gold medal ride against top qualifiers Australia.
Russia faded to a 4:07 effort in the gold medal ride as Australia rode their way to a new world record of 4:02.
However the kiwis turned up the wick with a superb 4:05 effort to claim the bronze. It showed the benefit of their hard work in establishing a combination under former Cycling Southland Regional Coach Ross Machejefski in their training camp at the UCI Headquarters in Switzerland prior to the championships.
It is the third bronze medal that the men’s team pursuit has won going back to 1993 and 2008, while they were edged to fourth in 2009 and 2010. New Zealand’s sole success came in 2005 with the won the gold medal in the combination that included current Radioshack pro tour riders Jesse Sergent and Sam Bewley.
There’s also a family connection with Wes Gough in that 2005 winning combination and his cousin Fraser in today’s bronze winning quartet.
Te Awamutu’s Hayden McCormick also impressed with a strong ride to narrowly finish out of the medals in the sprint finish for the junior men’s scratch race.